Srinagar: Peoples Democratic Party President Mehbooba Mufti referring to the normalcy mantra being propagated by Narendra Modi regime in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir particularly in the wake of abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019 has said that “the facade of normalcy exacts a heavy price from the people of Jammu and Kashmir”.
According to Kashmir Media Service, Mehbooba Mufti in an article said, Kashmiri youngsters are packed off to jails in and outside Jammu and Kashmir on trivial grounds while the rest pay with their lives and liberty to maintain a sullen silence.
“Even religious heads like maulvis and imaams are told what to include in their weekly sermons. The masses cannot protest peacefully even about day to day issues like gruelling power cuts that affect their lives,” she deplored.
“The scale of violence and atrocities that I have witnessed during the course of my political career has ensured nothing really shocks or rattles me anymore. But I was left stunned by a gruesome, abominable video that is doing the rounds over social media. The video, little less than a minute long, shows Army jawans clad in uniforms using abusive language while mercilessly thrashing civilians who appear to be half dead. Not satisfied with lashing them with sticks, they then go onto to strip them naked and pour heaps of red chilli powder on their gashed and wounded bottoms. A few hours after the video was verified, another disturbing fact came to light. One of those innocent civilians was already dead while this act of violence was carried out,” Mehbooba revealed.
She went on to add: “A deeply distressing question came to mind. Who would dare to shoot such a video under those circumstances? Certainly not a civilian. Clearly it was one of them. The video was deliberately leaked and disseminated with the diabolical intention of conveying a chilling message. By the very same persons whose unprecedented presence through every nook and corner of Jammu and Kashmir is justified in the guise of securing our lives. This is the side of the story that the media doesn’t want you to see.”
Mentioning armed resistance, she said, it contradicts Modi “government’s false claims that it has wiped out” militancy from J&K with the abrogation of Article 370. “This couldn’t be further from the truth. If anything, it has now engulfed even a region like Rajouri and Poonch which have remained peaceful even during peak insurgency years,” she said.
Regarding Indian Supreme Court’s controversial verdict on special status of Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti said, “To put facts into perspective, in cases like Sampat Prakash, Vijay Lakshmi Jha and State Bank of India, the top court upheld that Article 370 though a temporary provision can be scrapped only with the recommendation of J&K’s constituent assembly to the president. In its absence, no other institution including parliament had the right to tamper with the state’s special status and constitutional provisions”.
She maintained that the constitution cannot be overruled by a government that commands brute majority in the parliament. “Even the apex court is bound to uphold its provisions. But when it came to Article 370, it seems that the constitution has been relegated to the corner. At a time when minorities are being reduced to second class citizens, as residents of the only Muslim majority state which has been dismembered and disempowered after 2019, it was natural for us to place some faith in the judiciary. Alas, even this glimmer of faith was misplaced.”
“Kashmiri youngsters are packed off to jails in and outside J&K on trivial grounds. Businessmen and even small time entrepreneurs are raided day in and out just to instil fear within the community. Journalists whose duty is to speak truth to power are put behind bars for their reportage. Government employees are gagged through official orders to prevent them from articulating their demands.
“…countless properties of common people too have been sealed without even giving them a chance to defend themselves. Even religious heads like maulvis and imaams are told what to include in their weekly sermons. The masses cannot protest peacefully even about day to day issues like gruelling power cuts that affect their lives,” she mentioned in the article.
Disclaimer: Mehbooba reveals how Kashmiris paying heavy price of “facade of normalcy’ - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Latheefarook.com point-of-view